The supposition that we have spontaneous devotion sentences us to sporadic devotion
Some people ask, “What is the use of chanting Krishna’s holy names mechanically, keeping track of the count on beads? True lovers of Krishna will spontaneously chant his names without needing to count on beads.”
Yes, that’s true about advanced devotees of Krishna, but what’s usually not true is the supposition that we can count ourselves among those advanced devotees. Such devotion is rare and is awakened only by the diligent practice of disciplined devotion.
They find their fledgling attraction to Krishna varying like a sine wave according to the moods of their fickle mind.
Because though as souls we have natural love for Krishna, presently we are spiritually sick. Due to misidentifying with out temporary material bodies, we have forgotten our spiritual identity. Worse still, our original pure attraction to Krishna is now misdirected towards impure worldly things.
The redirection of our heart towards him involves curing of the disease, which is akin to a spiritual amnesia. To cure this, we need a systematic sustained treatment, as is required for any serious disease. Bhakti-yoga is the best treatment, for it exposes us systematically to Krishna in his various manifestations such as his holy names.
To let the holy name bless us with its full fruit, we need to chant diligently, just as a medicine needs to be taken regularly. The Bhagavad-gita endorses such committed practice of devotion when it (09.14) declares that serious devotees chant Krishna’s glories and serve him with determined vows.
Those who assume that they are already spontaneous devotees find their fledgling attraction to Krishna varying like a sine wave according to the moods of their fickle mind. And they stay at such sporadic and erratic devotion as long as they don’t acknowledge the necessity for committed devotion. Only when they reject their supposition do they witness the magic of the holy name and relish the true, life-transforming love of Krishna.